Australian feedstock and production capacity to produce sustainable aviation fuel
The aviation industry is pursuing the development of sustainable aviation fuel for environmental and economic reasons. Amongst the various means for reducing carbon emissions from commercial aviation, Qantas (like many other airlines), has identified Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as having the potential to make a significant contribution. However, w hile there is significant demand for SAF in Australia and across the world, there is no established supply chain capable of producing certified SAF at commercial scale. A s this report demonstrates, there are currentl y many challenges to overcome before this potential can be realised using certified SAF pathways. In Australia, government, industry and research parties have conducted studies 1 to examine the potential for bio - derived sources of aviation fuel. This study has extended the se previous investigations and reports by bringing together key players from each segment of the supply chain to fully explore the conditions needed in the Australian market. It draws on the detailed industry knowledge of the industry partn ers along the relevant SAF value chain to investigate the practical and commercial conditions needed for a SAF industry in Australia. To investigate the conditions under which an Australian - based SAF industry could be commercially feasible, Qantas formed a joint study team with The Shell Company of Australia Limited (Shell) and study partners, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), AltAir, the Australian Research Council ( ARC) Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls at the University of Adelaide and SkyNRG. The proje ct scope was specifically designed to review the commercial and long - term viability of SAF, using certified refining technology and infrastructure in Australia. Therefore, the project partners focused exclusively on the production of SAF from hydroprocesse d natural oils and animal fats (the HEFA pathway 2 ) . To augment understanding of the production of SAF from the certified Fischer Tropsch (FT) pathway, Qantas – independent of the main study partners – commissioned Solena to provide industry insights.
Consistent with the previous Australian research this study found that the establishment of a SAF industry in Australia is technically feasible. However, to effectively unlock the opportunity that SAF represents there are significant challenges to achieve commercial feasibility with regard to the HEFA and FT pathways. This report explores the key elements of this commercial challenge.
- Qantas, Shell